Polymer Physics 1
Module version of WS 2018/9
There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.
Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.
|available module versions|
|WS 2022/3||WS 2021/2||WS 2020/1||WS 2019/20||WS 2018/9||WS 2017/8||WS 2014/5||WS 2010/1|
PH2046 is a semester module in English or German language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.
This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.
- Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
- Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
- Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
- Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.
|Total workload||Contact hours||Credits (ECTS)|
|150 h||60 h||5 CP|
Responsible coordinator of the module PH2046 in the version of WS 2018/9 was Christine Papadakis.
Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions
This module gives an introduction into polymer physics:
- Traditional and modern applications of polymers: from plastics to functional materials.
- Nomenclature for the description of polymers and statistical models to describe the chain conformation.
- Methods for the characterization of the molar mass and the radius of gyration of polymers in solution.
- Phase diagrams of polymer solutions and blends: thermodynamic description, discussion of the free energy, construction of phase diagrams, description of demixing mechanisms.
- Mechanical properties of polymers: methods and moduli, creep, relaxatin and oscillatory experiments, viscoelastic polymer melts and cross-linked rubber.
- Electrical properties of polymers: conducting polymers, preparation, conduction mechanisms, applications.
After succesful participation of this modul, the student is able to
- remember traditional and modern applications of polymers,
- to understand the nomenclature of polymers,
- to understand models for the chain conformation of a single polymer,
- to assess methods for the characterization of polymers in solution,
- to analyze phase diagrams of polymer solutions and blends,
- to assess characteristic properties of polymer melts, e.g. mechanical and electric properties
No special preconditions are necessary, apart from those needed for the admission to the master program.
Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature
Courses and Schedule
|VU||3||Polymer physics 1||
singular or moved dates
and dates in groups
Learning and Teaching Methods
This module consists of a lecture and an exercise class.
In the thematically structured lecture, the theoretical basics are presented in form of an oral talk and the corresponding experimental techniques are outlined using descriptive examples. For this, macroscopic demonstration samples (elastomers, partly crystalline polymers, super absorbers) are used to elucidate the effects described in the lecture. There is a high emphasis on interactive discussions with and among the students on what has been learned. Therefore, control questions on the treated topic are given for each single lecture and the solutions are discussed in the beginning of the following lecture.
In the exercises (tutor classes), the content of the lecture is further deepened and exercised using exemplary problems, state-of-the-art analysis software and recent publications. After participation, the students are able to explain and apply the contents autonomously.
Consultation hours are an optional additional offer for clarification of further questions on the lecture contents in individual talks with the lecturer.
Oral talk, beamer presentation, exercise sheets
- M. Rubinstein, R.H. Colby: Polymer Physics, Oxford 2003.
- G. Strobl: The Physics of Polymers. Concepts for Understanding their Structures and Behavior: Concepts for Understanding Their Structures and Behavior; Springer, Berlin; Auflage: 3rd rev. and exp. ed. (Februar 2007)
- U. W. Gedde: Polymer Physics; Springer-Verlag GmbH; Auflage: 1 (September 2007)
- J.M.G. Cowie: Polymers: Chemistry & Physics of Modern Materials, CRC 1991.
Description of exams and course work
There will be an oral exam of 30 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and examples.
For example an assignment in the exam might be:
- Give examples of the chemical structure of simple polymers and their applications.
- Give statistical models for chains and explain their differences
- Describe a method to determine the radius of gyration.
- Explain the phase diagram of a polymer blend
- Compare the mechanical properties of a polymer melt and a polymer network.
In the exam no learning aids are permitted.
Participation in the exercise classes is strongly recommended since the exercises prepare for the problems of the exam and rehearse the specific competencies.
The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.